THE MATING GAME
Dreamed 1992/3/18 by Chris Wayan
I'm with a group of animals in front of my parents' house near Crystal Springs Lake in San Mateo. We're conferring--the animals talk--about how to solve the problems of a large frog who has lost something. Lost or stolen? Where should we look for it? The frog suspects it's somewhere around the house. I wonder about the fairytale of the Frog Prince--there was something about losing a golden ball in there... is this similar? I don't ask the frog if s/he is really a prince(ss?) for fear of offending it. Maybe frogs find humans yucky after all. All that dry hot skin, ugh!
The frog is rummaging through the garage, where I have a lot of boxes myself, in a corner. The animals confer out on the driveway. The frog comes out as we agree on something and I tell the frog "We all have come to the same conclusion about how to help you as I did alone." But I can't remember what that conclusion was!
I'm worried that the frog will think we're not trying, because there have been no results yet. We really are trying. But the nature of a search--unlike building something, or a journey, or even a quarrel--is that you always have nothing to show for it till the last instant--in fact, the moment you do get results is what defines the end of a search. Curious how we take this for granted.
Now the animals and I are watching TV on the driveway. It's a complex PBS special, some surreal drama like "The Singing Detective." A long rather dull stretch gets me bored... I'm watching it because it's "quality" TV not cuz I want to... I suddenly get up and change the channel, feeling GUILTY about it as I do! Almost change it back--I see a commercial network show or ad, with an extreme sexual tease to get you to buy... Wait a minute, is that what I'm seeing? I REALLY LOOK without preconceptions. And see it really is sex, not a tease for something else. Two girls, entwined, excited, getting messy--oops, they fall over, tumbling right out of the TV onto us, their sheets and pillows tangled all over the driveway! There's a man hiding under the sheets with them, but he stays a shy lump. One girl strokes the other's forearms with her forearms, the very sensitive skin there just shivering with excitement. I never thought of that as a sexual area but it is--I'm so turned on just seeing them touch. This is what I want, not... PBS.
I go round the house, through the tool shed to the side door. Stuck. Not locked, it's a sliding door and something's jammed in the runners. Ring ring ring... I go on round to the back patio and try that door. Sticks too, but I force it. Run to the front, and I find a man who's been here all along arguing with my friend Mark, who knocked. As I come up, he's saying "You'll have to leave, there's no one here authorized to let you in." Now I'm glad I came to check.
Mark is in a band. "Our new album is called The Mating Game." Because they titled it this--on a whim--all this media attention has come to them! The TV show they named the album after, instead of suing them for trademark infringement or whatever it'd be, is...
"Wait a sec" I interrupt. "Did you see movement back there? I saw something in the back room."
Mark says "Yeah, I saw a guy sneaking in the back window with a roll of TV cable. They're just setting up for the special."
"Yeah, the Mating Game show is doing a special on us. They were dropping in the Nielsens--it's an old show--and our album has got more young people watching 'em so they want us to play on the show." I'm stunned. All this from a whim about naming their product?
"And the news crews are coming to cover the show's decision to help the band they should be suing. Infotainment."
And all this free publicity came from how they labeled one thing! I joke "Does that mean if I title one of my abstract paintings The Dead George Bush, I can bump off that liar?" knowing this is a remarkably hostile, negative example. After all, while Mark's principle may not work all the time, this PARTICULAR change really did work a miracle for the band!
I peer down the hall at the news team assembling on the back porch, and see a tall black cylindrical hat above the blowdried mass of anchors. The black hat rests on a the head of a tall thin man, awkward and knobby, with a monkey face and a ridiculous voice. The guy is totally unqualified for any job requiring TV appearances! He looks like a walking cartoon. But there he is. He's back.
Lincoln is back.
Jeez, why didn't I visualize George out of office sooner?
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